Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Author Archives: Deanna James, LPC, CEDS

Surrendering to the Slow Process of Recovery

Guest Post by Alumnus, M.W. I have been thinking of what to write here for a while and hoped at some point something poignant and spot on would sort of appear on the paper. I’m laughing at this now because it completely mirrors the way I have approached recovery for so long; hoping that one day everything snaps into place, the path becomes clear and I mindfully walk off into the sunset, never to look back. I make jokes often with my team about wanting to expedite this recovery process and they compassionately remind me that it doesn’t work that way.…

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Learning to Be Okay With “Not Knowing”

By Annie Wittenberg, Castlewood Alumnus Subtext: I Don’t Always Have to Have an Answer… (And that is such a relief!) “I don’t know!!!” I said vehemently. “What is it you don’t know?” Laura Wood asked, after the second expressive session of alumni weekend. “I don’t know what I don’t know!” I exclaimed frustrated with myself. I was hoping Laura was about to give me homework that would clarify my confusion. Laura smiled and told me my “homework” for the night was to listen to the Beatles’ song Let it Be. I was like seriously Laura?! That’s my homework? (I may…

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A Letter From Laura Wood- Summer Alumni Weekend

Dearest Alumni, I could not be happier to be joining you for the upcoming alumni weekend in July. It is interesting because part of what I spent my last year doing was finishing my dissertation, which specifically focused on recovery. Recovery (as you all know better than anyone) is a multi-faceted process that requires attention to so many more areas than just food. One of the biggest things people need is a support network and space to continue to examine unfinished business, as well as continue to grow into new roles that they could not yet imagine for themselves yet.…

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Chasing-Something-Bigger-Dare-To-Bare

Exercise: From Obsession to Enjoyment

Guest Post by Paul Beuttenmuller, Castlewood Alumni When you hear the word “exercise,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you feel anxious? Stressed? Do you feel irritable or guilty because you didn’t go to the gym today? Or maybe you even did go but didn’t push yourself hard enough? Is exercise an obligation, something that you have to do as part of a rigid, structured, no-holds-barred routine? Your gut reaction to that word says a lot about your relationship with it. An Eating Disorder (ED) is a sneaky disease. Yes- I used to binge and purge,…

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The Hula Hoop of Life

Guest Post By: Samantha Reynolds, Castlewood Alumnus  With recovery comes reality –a simple concept with a million complexities trailing behind it. They say it’s hard to be the person on the outside, but what’s even harder is being the person on the inside looking around and having no clue what’s truly going on or what’s happening around them. That was the person I was before recovery. I may have been on the “inside”, but I had no clue what that really meant. I had no clue because I was searching for answers in the most negative ways imaginable; but there…

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Alumni Weekend: A Recovery Strengthening Experience

Castlewood hosts alumni weekends and day long events at our various locations throughout the year. These events are aimed to help strengthen the recovery process and help former clients continue toward personal growth. These free events include group experiential and time for processing what the recovery process looks like at various stages. Our alumni always share that the events remind them of the work they did, how far they have come as well as challenge them to take the next steps in their recovery process. After the February events, some of our alumni shared about their experiences. We invite you…

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Changing How I See Myself: Body Image Edition 

Guest Post by A.W., Castlewood Alumnus I think it’s safe to say that this time of year can be particularly difficult for people in recovery from an eating disorder, especially when it comes to grappling with body image. For some of us it may be talk of spring break approaching, or chatter about the weather warming up that sends our ED thoughts into overdrive. “Do I dare wear a bikini to a pool? Should I wear that dress that shows my thighs? What will my mom/ dad/ boyfriend/ girlfriend/ friend/ stranger on the street think of me when they see…

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Castlewood’s New Partial Hospitalization Program- A Successful First Year!

Guest Post by Nicole Dougherty, Assistant Director of PHP Working with both the PHP team and clients has brought many rewards this past year. It has been an honor to help with the development of the program and to witness the success of the program in providing high quality care to our clients. In transitioning into the role of therapist and Assistant Director this year, I have had the opportunity to observe more of the progress of clients as they adapt healthier ways of coping outside of their eating disorders. Their growth is inspiring and motivates me to provide the best…

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